IRS Clarifies New E-file Rules

(NOTE: after I wrote this, I have heard from two practitioners who have pointed out to me that until the IRS updates Publication 1345 or comes out with official guidance, they are not going to celebrate. The confirmation I got this afternoon was from the local IRS liason. These two practitioners both say they’re not going to celebrate until the IRS comes out with official confirmation. At any rate, the blog post below is relaying info from an IRS practitioner liason.)


This IRS this afternoon confirmed to me and other practitioners who had been making the IRS’s lives miserable the last few days that: the new e-file rules apply only to electronically signed e-file authorizations. And “electronically signed” means signed by some means other than pen-to-paper.

So for most prepares, included me, the new rules don’t apply because most of us aren’t using electronic signatures.

I have to say thank you to Ann, our local IRS liason, for taking our concerns seriously and elevating those concerns and getting clarification.

No Electronic Signatures for Me!

I first heard of e-signatures back in March when I saw a link about it on Twitter. I had put it on my list of things to investigate this summer. Since I do very little face-to-face tax preparation, I thought an e-sig option might be a good addition to my practice.

Not anymore. The IRS has made my investigation into electronic signatures easy. I’m not going to pull credit reports on my clients, no matter how convenient e-signatures may be.

I’ll stick to my current methods of having the client sign with a pen and scan or mail back to me.